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September 11th, One Hundred Years, Nine Years, Five Years later…
Looking at the larger picture, the birth of Satyagraha, the 911 Power to the Peaceful Concert and Social Justice Rally, the birth of the 9/11 Truth Movement, and the anti-American Imperialism Movement in light of the Truth about September 11th
One hundred years ago, Satyagraha was born in South Africa when three thousand people agreed to join forces in civil disobedience to challenge racist laws, led by Mohandas K. Gandhi. At that meeting, a Muslim merchant, Seth Haji Habib, declared that their resolution must be passed "with God as a witness." Gandhi realized that including spirituality in a political struggle would change the nature of civil disobedience, but the idea was enthusiastically embraced by those gathered and “Satyagraha” has since inspired countless struggles against injustice.
Our “struggle for truth,” the 9/11 Truth Movement, was born in the age of high speed internet access, with people scattered across cyberspace and the planet. The larger struggle for Truth probably has no beginning nor will it ever end, as the struggle and quest for truth, peace, justice has a long history and will last as long as deceptions and violence continue to dominate and oppress people, and other living beings.
In the excellent documentary, 9/11 Press for Truth, those who lead the charge to investigate 9/11 are the victim’s families. They are informed by journalists, researchers and others who raised questions that the widows found as they poured over the internet, during those sleepless nights when they grieved for those that they lost.
In California, one of the first marches, rallies, for 9/11 Truth took place in January 2002, demanding a Congressional Inquiry into 9/11. After we met with our Senator’s staffs, we went back down into the streets where a larger group awaited us, we stood and held hands in community, feeling a wave of energy, that our small action would help in the larger struggle against the violence and lies unleashed by September 11th.
On the first anniversary of the attacks, another 9/11 Truth Rally and March was held, beginning at the Panhandle and concluding at the 4th Annual 911 Power to the Peaceful Concert in San Francisco. (The first was held on 9/11/1999 in an urgent wake up call to draw attention to the plight of Mumia Abu Jamal).
Saturday, September 9th, 2006, the 5th Annual 9/11 Truth Rally and March took place. This year’s theme was “Impeach the Terrorists!” The rally, which began at 10 am, has never drawn huge numbers, but it does draw some very dedicated activists, and speakers. Code Pink brought the Peace Quilt; Pat Jordan from the National Coalition to Impeach Bush and Cheney, brought a magnificent, huge Impeach Bush and Cheney banner. The Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance had more banners and signs than we could carry. Channel 11 was on hand and a multimedia crew from UCSF, plus quite a few photographers. (I think we would have had a better turn out, if I hadn’t been sick and lost my voice in the weeks prior to the event, and if I had had time to focus on just the rally, but we had multiple 9/11 Truth events happening this month, so I never found time to do everything that I should have done. We put ads in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, but we failed to make flyers. I was up at 7 am to drive to San Francisco, put up our tent, banners, tables, and I barely made it to the Panhandle before 10 am, myself. I remember one year, when we, who were bringing the sound system, were late).
I opened the rally with an overview of why we were marching, again,- for Truth, Justice, Peace:
“ Our first big 9/11 Truth Rally and March was in September 2002. At that time only one book- The War on Freedom: How and Why America was Attacked September 11, 2001, by Nafeez Ahmed, had been published, by a small independent publisher in Southern California. Nafeez was supposed to come and speak in the Bay Area, but his wife had just had a baby and needed him at home, so he spoke via the internet, and his publisher came up to speak in his stead at a couple of events, and to help table at the 911 Power to the Peaceful Rally.
“Every year since then, documentaries and books have been produced challenging the official narrative and the evolving cover-up. Many of us believe that 9/11 was the biggest psychological operation/special operation ever directed against the American people, and have found tremendous resistance to getting people to look at the basic facts about 9/11. Pulling together a logical, coherent case for complicity on the part of the US government has been easier than getting people to examine the evidence. Sadly the willingness of the public to face the truth about 9/11 has increased only because the administration has consistently lied to us, to drag our country into wars, to violate the constitution, and to challenge basic morality by condoning torture, assassination, the abrogation of basic human rights, including spying on countless people, under the bogus pretext of fighting a “war on terrorism.” By terrorizing us and the rest of the world with “Shock and Awe,” genuine deadly campaigns against innocent civilian, as well as fabricated heightened terror alerts, and the threat/promise of endless war; they have proven themselves to be international terrorists.
“ Our 9/11 Truth Movement has grown to the point that we are recognized and attacked by the mainstream press (and the “independent” press.) The press can easily overlook that the 9/11 Commission regarded who funded the 9/11 attacks to be of little or no importance, and ignore the meetings between top US officials and the money-man behind 9/11- Pakistani’s Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad (who had $100,000 sent to Mohammed Attta). The press will ignore the fact that the director of the Commission, Philip Zelikow, was part of the Bush National Security transition team, and co-authored a book with Condoleeza Rice, and was the man who wrote the pre-emptive war doctrine. The press has cheerleaded the wars. Sadly, the Senate/House Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission, were designed and used to justify the construction of Homeland Security, to expand the National Security State, into a Global Police State.
“The demands for a genuine investigation into 9/11, accountability, continue to grow, but we don’t have a place in this country where we could subpoena the major power-holders, except possibly Congress, but we have no real representation there, yet. Our best ally, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was again robbed of her office by the dirty electoral tricks of the powers that be.
“The Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance and the Green Party have persuaded me to run for Congress. We share the deep conviction that the best hope for this country and the world is for the American people to rein in a criminal regime. There are so many crimes that the Bush/Cheney cabal have committed that there are numerable grounds for impeachment, but I think impeaching them for war crimes, or abuse of power, or violating the Constitution, in isolation from their criminal role in 9/11 would only slow the suicidal trajectory that this country has embarked upon. Only be exposing fully that the “War on Terrorism” is in fact a “War of Terrorism” against Americans and the world, will we be able to put an end to it, and an end to the ruses that governments have used for millennia to trick their people into supporting imperial wars.
“I did everything I could to prevent the war on Iraq; I want it to end, but I don’t think that ending one war against one country is enough; we need to put an end to militarism. We need to expose the whole war game and how it is played, who are the winners, the losers, the pawns to be sacrificed.
“It is possible to end war, to redirect resources from killing and controlling to healing and helping, but it does require enlightened leadership and not the sort of mobster mentality demonstrated by those in Washington DC..
“We may still be a “minority” at this moment in time, but I think if all of us continue to educate ourselves and our fellow citizens, the press and the politicians, we will become a “majority” and we will be able to help create a just, peaceful, hopeful future for our children and all children.”
Krissy Keefer, Green Party candidate, running against Nancy Pelosi, spoke next. Marie Harrison , District 10 candidate for supervisor, also spoke. Vicki Leidner, from Code Pink, also spoke. Like me, they are all very down to Earth, mothers, grassroots activists, engaged in political activity in fierce defense of that which they love. Rick Knee, journalist, member of the National Writer’s Union also spoke very eloquently in defense of our First Amendment Rights. Frank Runninghorse spoke on the links between the government and top al Qaeda operatives. Additional speakers included Mesha Monge-Irizarry from the Idriss Stelley Foundation, Cosmos, who produced one of the local 9/11 Truth television shows, Dave Kimball from Sacramento 9-11 Truth. Bill Veal, public defender closed the rally with these words:
“Each newly educated citizen asks meekly what in the world can I do?
Lets just put that aside for a moment and focus on the WHY it must be done.
If you had to say BECAUSE in just one sentence you might be have to say: because of the number of times you are forced to say really? as you are presented with the official story.
When they tell you Hani Hanjour, a man who had trouble flying a Cessna, decided, deranged homicidal terrorist that he is, not to fly his highjacked 757 straight into Donald Rumsfelds office, or the roof above which would have provided the largest possible target and the grandest possible devastation, you say, really?
When they tell you that he preferred to fly it into that part of the building with the fewest number of people working there, you say, really?
When they tell you that he decided to fly it into the side of the building which provided the smallest target, and a target that had been recently reinforced to withstand attack, you say really?
All of us, each one of us can want desperately to believe our government incapable of such madness, but it's there in your stomach, something is all wrong with that scenario.
They tell you that our magnificent military apparatus of protection, for which we pay dearly, trained and drilled to within an inch of its collective life, just didnt quite perform up to standards on that day; there being no fighters scrambled to do the job as happened routinely 67 times in the nine months leading up to September 11th, and you say, really?
They tell you jets were scrambled from an airfield 150 miles away when there were airplanes 10 miles away, and you say,really?
They tell you that a man named Mike Pecoraro, who was working in the subbasement of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, heard and felt an explosion and then saw a fifty ton press and a machine shop reduced to rubble, but there were no explosives involved in the collapse of the towers and you say, really?
You learn of molten metal in the ruins of the towers that cannot be explained by a jet fuel fire and you say, really?
You see the buildings collapse, looking very much like controlled demolitions, falling into piles at almost freefall speed with nothing to slow them down, no resistance as each succeeding floor dissolves, and are told that the demolition thesis is unworthy of study, and you say, really?
You learn that steel-framed buildings have never collapsed because of fire before but on September11th, three did, all on the same day, all in the same place, all at freefall speed, all looking astonishingly like controlled demolitions, and you say, really?
You watch World Trade Center 7 collapse, and the first thing to implode is the penthouse, when there is no fire anywhere around the penthouse, and the 9/11 Commission doesnt even mention the buildings demise, and you say, really?
In fact, you read these devastating indictments by David Ray Griffin and others and see that the 9/11 Commission didn’t bother to respond to any of the questions that these brave people raised, and you say, really?
And then you see Professor Steven Jones, a physicist who has written extensively and courageously about the mountains of evidence that prove controlled demolition of the World Trade Center, on CSPAN putting his reputation on the line, holding up pieces of steel from ground zero that he has tested and found to contain a substance known as thermate, an explosive used in controlled demolition, and you think that is explosive stuff, certainly the news media will be all over that, and there is deafening silence, what in the world is a person to say then?
Those of you committed warriors who have answered the call of patriotism, I am proud to stand with you. To those who remain skeptical, as is entirely appropriate, the reading is there to be done, and I beseech you to do it. You probably never thought you would be in a position to be a true patriot, but nothing could be clearer to those of us who have sought to learn. This is your moment; your country is calling.”
We had plenty of handouts for along our parade route, Deception Dollars, and cards listing eleven key facts that the media fails to mention about 9/11. We had a drum!!! Most everyone carried something and we marched up Ashbury and down Haight Street singing-
“9-11 was an Inside Job,
Orchestrated by the Cheney Mob.
9-11 was a special Op,
Only Justice Going to make them Stop.
(The new verse that we came up with en-route)
Building Seven was the Smoking Gun,
Now the Neo-Cons are on the run!”
We drew lots of attention, more photographers were waiting for us on Ashbury. Some people spontaneously joined us to march down Ashbury in solidarity with our message. We got the thumbs up and the happy honks. The Deception Dollars were a hit. We sang, chanted, and took the road through Golden Gate Park. As we entered Speedway Meadows and the 8th Annual 911 Power to the Peaceful Concert and Social Justice Festival, Michael Franti saw us and raised his fist in the air and smiled in solidarity.
We respectfully didn’t compete with the music and speakers, but had an opportunity to do a few chants between stages, and drew applause as we paraded past the stage with our “Impeach the Terrorists!” banner while Dennis Kucinich was giving a speech. Our booth and table were very popular throughout the day and we disseminated cases of literature, books and DVDs.
On September 11th, we gathered at the Grand Lake Theater for the world premiere of David Ray Griffin in “9/11 the Myth and the Reality.” Diane created an altar which she set up outside the theater. Several people held large banners, even the theater owner, Allen Michaan, lent a hand holding them. He had been away, so he quickly organized an update of the marquee. He also announced to us that he decided to do a theatrical run of “9/11 Press for Truth” beginning Friday, September 15th.
The Marin Independent Journal ran a great article on 9-11 featuring film maker, Ken Jenkins (http://www.marinij.com/fastsearchresults/ci_4318337). We had a good turnout, nearly two hundred people. Much of the film had been shot that spring, when David Ray Griffin spoke at the Grand Lake Theater and the Commonwealth Club, those events drew full houses, and people were sitting in the aisles and on the floor to hear him speak in person. It’s a brilliant talk, which also engaged the audience and made us laugh many times at the 9/11 Commission and the weakness of their lies “the myths” they constructed to further an imperial agenda which fall apart under rational scrutiny. The film closes with the most interesting , and final question from the audience at the Grand Lake Theater last spring, a “What do we do?” question. Griffin suggested that we organize a non-violent global movement against American Imperialism, he received an enthusiastic standing ovation in response.
At the conclusion of the film, Ken Jenkins spoke, followed by a Question and Answer period. For many this was the best part of the evening, as Ken is a gifted speaker and knows his subject well, and laid out a convincing case that 9/11 was not only the biggest psychological operation/hoax of all times, but it was a botched one, as well. The event might have last past midnight, except the employees urged us to leave at some point.
The 9/11 Truth Film Festival will continue tonight with 9/11 Guilt- The Proof is in Your Hands, followed by a discussion and Question and Answers with Jim Hoffman and Don Paul.
Additional photographs and report by Mike Hagerty on Saturday's rally can be found at http://www.yayacanada.com/9-11-3f.html
Marie Harrison at Rally
Photo by Michael Hagerty
March down Haight Street
Photo by Michael Hagerty
Allen Michaan, Grand Lake Theater owner
Photo by Cam
Grand Lake Theater Marquee, 9/11/06
Photo by Cam